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    Tips if you're renting to family members

    25/02/20 1:21 PM

    You're looking for a place and know the tenants in your uncle's granny flat are moving out, and think perfect! Or maybe you've had no success in finding tenants for your investment property, and your brother says he's looking to live in the area. You may think that renting from a family member may seem easier than to rent through an agent, but that is not always the case.

    Here are some tips a landlord should take when renting to family to avoid any issues:

    • As this will be a landlord’s investment property and not charity, landlords need to learn to turn off the heart and work only from the brain. Treat the tenancy like a business transaction and follow the same procedures a landlord would follow with any other applicant. Landlords should also advise the tenants that this is how the situation will be handled so that the tenant knows that the same rules will apply up front.
    • Landlords should also respect the privacy of their family members and keep their information private from other family members and friends.
    • Landlords should ensure that a lease is signed by all parties even if there is an agreement reached verbally between the family members. Having everything in writing will solve any situation of 'he said, she said'.
    • Ensure that a detailed property inspection is undertaken by the landlord and tenant. This should not be skipped just because everyone knows each other.
    • Determine what bills you will be paying and what bills the tenant will pay. Have this arrangement in writing as well.
    • Discuss each person’s responsibility for the maintenance of the property to ensure no one is under the wrong impression.
    • You may want to avoid renting to family members who drink excessively or to family members who have been evicted from places for damaging property or for not paying rent.
    • The usual inspections should still be carried out every 3 months.

    Following the above tips will help you keep your investment property rented and will also keep your relationship with your family members in tact.

    This is not legal advice. 

    Photo by Brandon Griggs on Unsplash

    Topics: Property

    Lisa Pizzonia

    Written by Lisa Pizzonia